Fresh Cut Flowers

You’ve been a bouquet,
Of fresh picked flowers,
Decorating my thoughts,
As minutes add up to hours.

I’m focused on where I’m going,
When suddenly, there you are,
In the song on the radio,
That I hear in my car.

Your kind eyes,
And your soft smile,
Give me the feeling,
You’d be worth my while.

My intuition is certain,
Though I’ve been here before,
Fear tells me to run,
And deadbolt the door.

My heart tells me to stay,
It tells me this time will be different,
It tells me it’ll be more than okay.
But is that hope or discernment?

© Regina Mast 2017

Kaleidoscope

She’s every shade on the spectrum,
She’s every size on the chart,
She’s a kaleidoscope of colors,
An evolving work of art.

She can’t be contained in boxes,
She is fluid and she is free,
Like a wildfire of love,
Leaving hate and judgment as debris.

She’s got more seasons than the planet,
She lives life in phases,
She’s daring yet cautious,
Because her mind is full of mazes.

She is grounded in her faith,
Yet she gets high on love,
She’s ferocious like a lion,
Yet she’s as gentle as a dove.

She’s the sky and the earth,
She’s the sun and the moon,
She’s the fire and the water,
She’s the seed and the full bloom.

If you give her space to flourish,
You can join her for the ride,
But don’t try to silence her,
Simply let her add wonder to life.

© Regina Mast 2017

This Place

I’ve been here before,
I know This place,
I know This love,
I know This face.

I know how it ends,
Every challenge, every time,
It ends with more praise,
Put into a rhyme.

My Rescuer, My Redeemer,
My Prince of Peace,
Working things out for my good,
In a way I expected the least.

I don’t know when or how,
I only know that You will,
Because I know Your heart towards me,
Turning this adventure into a thrill.

In You, I am strong,
In You, I am brave,
My Knight in Shining Armor,
Who is always near to save.

When I look back on my past,
And reflect on days gone by,
I see Your handiwork,
Has followed me all my life.

You chase me, You capture me,
You win me over with love,
Today, tomorrow, and always,
My Heavenly Father above.

I say above,
Though You’re actually here,
You’re everywhere,
Filling the atmosphere.

With power and might,
With mercy and grace,
I find rest, I’m at ease,
In the secret place.

I’ll share this story too,
With tears welling up in my eyes,
About how You again demonstrated Your love,
And taught this eagle how to fly.

© Regina Mast 2016

Mount Mitchell

The sun is peeking through the trees,
In Black Mountain campground,
It’s early morning and apart from the birds,
I don’t hear a sound.

I feel my body trembling,
I’m scared to get out of the car,
But I drove four hours to get here,
I have to continue onward after coming this far.

My daypack is extra heavy,
A GPS, compass and map,
I don’t know how well the trail is blazed,
And I can’t afford a mishap.

See, I’m hiking Mt. Mitchell,
The highest point east of the Mississippi,
But this is my first solo hike,
So it is going to be a little tricky.

And by tricky, I mean frightening,
Cause I am terrified of bears.
With snakes and unidentifiable noises,
The wilderness is full of scares.

One foot in front of the other,
Step after step,
Ascending nearly the entire six miles to the peak,
Without stopping to rest.

I took a few sips of water,
But didn’t have a snack,
I was racing the stormy forecast,
Knowing there was limited time to get back.

When I reach the summit,
I’m flying high,
“I made it! I’m here!
And I’m still alive!”

That’s when I look up,
And see one other guy,
On this great big mountain.
I hope this isn’t where I die.

I nervously approach the peak,
Bear mace within reach,
Thinking “If you mess with me,
You won’t leave in one piece”

I can tell he is kind,
When our eyes meet.
And I hear a strange accent,
When he speaks.

He’s from the City of Love,
Staying in the City of Oaks for work,
He tells me I shouldn’t hike alone,
But I can’t tell if he has a smirk.

He asks to walk down together,
And I reluctantly say yes,
While I’m excited to meet someone new,
I actually came here to be by myself.

I was seeking God on a matter,
Because I was struggling with confusion,
I somehow thought He’d meet me here,
To sort out truth from illusion.

But maybe I’ll learn something from this guy?
Maybe he’ll broaden my perspective?
So I ask him lots of questions,
And the language barrier makes it slightly hectic.

We exchange contact info,
And head our separate ways,
Planning to reconnect,
Again in a few days.

A kindred spirit,
Nothing more, nothing less,
But to tell that story now,
Would mean to digress.

This story is about fear,
And seeking to overcome it,
That’s precisely what happened,
On my solo trek up to the summit.

I felt capable and strong,
The world felt bigger,
I had grown so much,
Though my shadow cast the same figure.

Fear puts you into cages,
It tells you what you can and cannot do,
But fear is a liar,
Simply trying to control you.

It’s okay to feel fear,
And to let it speak,
But dig down for your courage,
And always let it take the lead.

Fear will roar loudly,
But it’s only a wall,
When you push through it,
It won’t continue to make you stall.

So when you feel fear,
Don’t put up a fight,
Instead, summon your courage,
And you’ll emerge on the other side.

Then this world will be your playground,
And everything will be an adventure,
Living life boldly with courage,
Fills ordinary experiences with splendor.

© Regina Mast 2016

The Train

It was cold and snowy,
The sky was dark purple and red,
The peaks looked black and white,
As I glanced up ahead.

The train was headed for the mountains,
In a far off land,
With anxious anticipation,
I chose to sit rather than stand.

In the dream, I was riding on the train,
And instead of standing in the convertible car with the view,
I waited inside of the warm one,
Resting cozily in the caboose.

I hadn’t bothered to snap pictures,
Because I planned to take them upon arrival,
Only this train wasn’t headed there,
It was a horse without a bridle.

My stomach sunk,
As I realized I missed the opportunity,
Never to return again,
I had completely failed to capture the best scene.

I was sheltering myself,
Staying in my comfort zone,
Thinking that “When I arrive,
I will then get up and roam!”

Sometimes our trains,
Don’t lead to the destination which we desire direly,
And to wait for that to happen,
Is to miss the trip entirely.

Don’t go through life,
On autopilot,
Waiting for life to begin,
Once it aligns with a particular eyelet.

Each day has beauty in it,
So enjoy all the views,
Don’t wait for the destination,
To venture away from your pew.

That way if you never make it there,
You won’t feel like you missed out,
Cause you got the most from each day,
You enjoyed the path along your route.

© Regina Mast 2016

The Voiceless

To the voiceless:

Sometimes you think you’re fine,
But then it crashes in like a wave,
Where some read a simple headline,
You read the words “I’m not okay!”

The painful memories resurface,
Old feelings surge to the top,
You fight and fight and fight,
But you can’t make them stop.

If you want them to go away,
Here is the key,
Give yourself full permission,
To let the feelings be.

Those feelings are valid,
Those feelings are real,
Let them come to you,
Let yourself feel what you feel.

Don’t let the feelings tell you,
That you haven’t healed,
Even if the unwanted flashbacks,
Still make your stomach reel.

It wasn’t your fault,
Not then, not now.
It wasn’t your fault,
You survived, somehow.

Your eyes will twinkle again,
Don’t panic if you notice this absence,
The heaviness will lift,
You’ll regain your balance.

You are resilient like the grass,
Like the plants and the trees,
Your branches will blossom again,
Your petals will blow in the breeze.

Do a little research,
I promise you’re not the only one,
Most just don’t share their experience publicly,
Because they fear judgment.

They are believing a set of lies:
“You do not have a voice!
Stay silent, stay quiet.”
But you do have a choice!

You don’t have to keep it a secret,
You don’t have to carry it alone,
If you do, it’ll have power to control you,
It can devour those on their own.

I still don’t know if there is a reason,
Or how it happens to the best and the brightest,
And when it comes to the “why”
I don’t think anybody knows in the slightest.

This is what I do know,
And this brings me peace:
Because you have been there,
You’ll bring another’s suffering sweet release.

Your eyes do the talking,
Your soul says “I understand.
I’ve been in your shoes too.
Let me give you my hand.”

“I will sit with you when it hurts,
I will hold you when you’re afraid,
I know it wasn’t your fault.
No assumptions have been made.”

Then you will become,
The change you so desired,
The one you wished would have held you,
When you first emerged from the fire.

You will transform into someone more gentle,
Empathetic, compassionate, and kind,
Even if you can’t see how it’s possible,
The worst eventually gets left behind.

Though you’ll never forget,
It’s a part of your being,
But it isn’t your prison or identity
Because the Truth sets you free.

You are flexible and buoyant,
You are warm and tender,
You are strong and irrepressible,
Your Light is unable to surrender.

You are love,
And you are loved,
Both from earth,
And from above.

This Love holds you,
Now and forever,
There’s nothing you can do,
That could ever cause a sever.

© Regina Mast 2016

Sixteen

Out for a run this morning,
A treasured antique came on my shuffled playlist,
And I let my mind go down memory lane,
Because I just couldn’t quite resist.

You drifted into the frame,
And a story I visit rarely,
Because it came to a close,
A decade ago, barely.

The impact of a first love,
Is never entirely forgotten,
Fresh, limitless bliss,
Like spring skies filled with clouds of cotton.

My version of Prince Charming on a white horse,
Was a soccer player in a silver Accord.
Our happily-ever-after ended during senior year,
We found all the happiness our young love could afford.

At the time, I was sixteen,
You were slightly older,
I was scared and timid,
You were slightly bolder.

We listened to song lyrics,
That we thought we understood,
We made them our anthem,
Thinking we had long before left childhood.

Naive, inexperienced hearts,
Scrounging for every minute we could spend,
Even with good and pure intentions,
The dream had to come to an end.

We thought we had found a paradise,
But it was an illusion that the real world evaporated,
Like a paper lantern in a rainstorm,
It fell apart and disintegrated.

The fiery first flesh-tearing experience of heartbreak,
Piggybacked in on September, when it presented our expiration,
It offered the invaluable lesson: with two sets of expectations,
There is room for misappropriation.

We were two tug boats,
Leaving a tiny harbor,
But for that sweet time,
We had no use for wearing armor.

Our water color story,
Got muddied and brown,
But when hard feelings bubble up,
I tell myself you probably let yourself down.

When you put on a façade,
And acted like someone else,
You were lost and looking for answers,
Or so I told myself.

So when I think of you,
I like to think of you at seventeen,
Innocent, helpful, kind, hilarious,
With motives that were pristine.

© Regina Mast 2016

The Tar Heel 10-Miler

The Tar Heel 10 Miler,
Was actually pretty fun,
Now that everything,
Is said and done.

I was feeling stressed the night before,
And having difficulty sleeping,
Because I felt underprepared;
I was struggling to stop worries from creeping.

I gave myself permission,
To simply show up at the starting line,
Having the courage to run was enough,
Knowing that if I didn’t run well, it’d still be fine.

The weather was perfect,
With Carolina blue skies,
I held onto my peace,
So I could deflect the fearsome lies.

The race was off,
I was running a decent pace,
I felt plenty strong,
Excited about how I’d place.

Near the 8 mile mark,
Laurel Hill began,
Almost a mile ascent,
“I think I can!”

I kept my head down,
Having learned before not to search for the top,
Otherwise, the mental struggle is too much,
And I might think I need to stop.

One foot in front of the other,
Steadily, I climbed,
When I heard a troubled father,
As I approached from behind.

He was talking to some other runners,
“How much longer is this hill?”
He didn’t think he would make it,
But he was going to try, still.

I passed their group,
And his son matched my speed,
Slowly, but surely,
We took the lead.

A short while later,
This kid was out of steam,
He looked pretty young,
Twelve, maybe thirteen?

He began to walk,
So I said “You’ve got this!
The long hill is almost over,
This is the last twist!”

I saw his eyes instantly,
Transition from defeat to hope,
And he said “Really?”
Then took off, leaving smoke.

We finished together,
Him slightly in front of me,
I think both of us,
Learned a valuable theme.

I hope he learned that even,
When you think you can’t,
You can always keep going,
If you silence the negative internal rant.

And I reaffirmed my belief,
That this is the meaning of life:
To do your best,
And reach out to those in strife.

We’re all running a race,
And we all face challenging hills,
So when you see someone struggling,
Helping them can be your thrill.

Had I not felt,
His same fatigue,
I wouldn’t have known what to say,
To help him maintain his speed.

I wouldn’t have known his fears,
Or the mental war going on inside,
I wouldn’t have known that encouraging him,
Would help his hopelessness subside.

I was on cloud nine,
As I crossed the finish,
Then I met some familiar eyes,
That made me grimace.

This spectacular gent,
Had stood me up on a date,
It was years earlier,
And I had to run into him, great.

His eyes looked concerned,
When our gaze met,
So I tried to be kind,
But how could I forget?

I looked through his eyes,
And continued to walk by,
Though part of me was curious,
And wanted to ask him “Why?”

I bring this up,
Because sometimes people are unkind,
They make assumptions and act accordingly,
Because they don’t know what’s going on in your mind.

I don’t care who it is,
We’ve all had people make us feel small,
Instead of being mean back,
Be brave and stand tall.

Instead of treating others,
The way you’ve been treated,
Show kindness and love,
That’s how darkness is defeated.